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The Spanish government's representative in the Valencian Country, Pilar Bernabé, has announced that the investigations carried out by the National Police into the deadly fire in Valencia, which completely gutted a fourteen-storey apartment complex in the Nou Campanar neighbourhood on February 23rd, have revealed that it did not start, as had initially been thought, in the electric motor of an external awning. According to the evidence now collected by scientific police, it is believed that it started in the kitchen of an apartment, and specifically in a refrigerator.

The fire left ten people dead and almost 140 families homeless. According to the version now provided by the Spanish government, the blaze originated in Apartment 86, the sixth apartment on the eighth floor. Court proceedings, which have been confidential, will have to clarify the facts and how the flames, first noticed around five in the afternoon, completely burned the two towers of the complex, and led to the evacuation of more than 450 people as the blaze engulfed everything.

No criminal origin for the blaze

What has been learned is that the court that began the investigation on the day of the fire, and took charge of removing the bodies of the victims from within the building, closed its case last week after finding no criminal wrongdoing in the fire. As it is an accident, it has no legal recourse. However, investigation may be key if there is a need to assign responsibilities between the neighbours and the builders, if any.

As well as the ten people who lost their lives, and hundreds left homeless, there are also millions of euros in damages. Now a new phase begins, and families and insurance companies will have to set in motion all the processes required for a possible reconstruction of the flats and study the feasibility of returning to live in their homes.